In Review: Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #8

An absolutely magnificent conclusion to an all encompassing saga of every Ghostbuster.

The covers: The expected three covers close out the final issue in this series. I’ve been a huge fan of the A covers by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado and this is no exception. A bust shot of Egon Spengler from the Prime Ghostbusters is in the foreground on the lower left. Ecto-1 is between him and images of Peter Venkman and Melanie Ortiz, also from the Prime dimension. Above these two are the 6 bit Ghostbusters and emerging upside as a laughing head is Kevin Beckman. This follows the layout of previous A covers with yellow and black striped tape running diagonally at the top and bottom, with blue speed lines as the background. I’ve loved these covers and I love this. Tim Lattie is the artist of the B cover. The Prime Ghostbusters are at the top of the illustration with Jenny Moran hanging onto Ray. The guys are wearing dark gray suits and look really intense. They’re also covered in violet slime. Below them are several other Ghostbusters teams, including the Extreme Ghostbusters, the Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters, and Ron Alexander. This is absolutely the hero shot and it looks good. The final cover is the Retailer Incentive by Luca Pizzari. This is a three paneled cover that begins with the grill of Ecto-1 shown as its lights come on. The second panel shows the exhaust the car leaves in its wake after its left the Ghostbusters’ headquarters. Also shown in this middle panel is a green stream of energy chasing the trail of Ecto-1. The final panel reveals who’s in the iconic car: Kylie Griffin, Gabriel Sitter, Alan Crendall, and Jillian Holtzman at the wheel. The green trail is revealed to be Slimer who’s flying alongside, wearing a bomber jacket and black sunglasses. The poltergeist has a cheeseburger in its hands and some of its gooey bits are being dislodged, hitting poor Kylie. Neat cover, but I would have preferred to have seen a cover based on the final panel. Overall grades: A A, B B+, and Retailer Incentive B-

The story: Erik Burnham starts the conclusion of this saga with Winston Zeddemore of the Real Ghostbusters exchanging words with his counterpart of the Prime dimension. The Real Zeddemore doesn’t recognize the gigantic foe that’s before them and the Prime informs him, “Last time we saw thing, it took a piece of my life.” They open fire with their proton packs. The Answer the Call Ghostbusters realize that this creature isn’t one of the spirits they’re after. The Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters recognize this specter as pure evil and are about to fire upon it, while the Extreme Ghostbusters have been looking forward to ending their troubles and unleash with their packs. Tiamat calls them all fools for trying to fell her and her hair comes to life: giant Medusian snakes rise and unleash blasts of energy to get the Ghostbusters to stop firing. She tells them they’re responsible for return. “Such powerful beings being undone and imprisoned by mortals — This sent ripples across the multiverse. It sowed panic like you couldn’t believe. And panic…gives birth…to chaos.” Egon realizes she’s been influencing their situation. “Of course! I want you to continue visiting other worlds, throwing ghosts and demons and things you can’t even classify yet into fits of panic. Chase them. Upset the order of their environments. Leave chaos in your wake and increase my power — or be destroyed!” A weapon received in a previous issue is used, thought its effects aren’t as great as the protagonists were hoping. However, it does allow one Ghostbuster some serious payback. The reveal on Page 11 is fantastic. The villain is defeated, and that’s no spoiler, but the story isn’t over. Something is revealed on 14 that’s absolutely heartbreaking and brings the team’s success crashing down. It’s brutal. It’s not graphic, but oh so painful. This dramatic moment was surprising and true. There is a minor bump up on 18 that gives some partial relief, and I’m grateful for Burnham doing so. The issue ends with a humorous exchange between two characters that began much earlier in this series. It marks a change, albeit a minor one for this character, but it’s a welcome one. This is a terrific ending. Overall grade: A+

The art: The visuals by Dan Schoening also conclude in stunning style. The dimension where the Ghostbusters confront Tiamat is beautiful and chaotic. It’s a star field that looks as though the heroes are fighting in the cosmos. The characters are sensational looking. They are recognizable to anyone who’s a Ghostbusters fan, whether they’ve seen the films or the television shows. The first pages shows the three teams present for the showdown, building up to Tiamat’s reveal. She looks fantastic: a giant reptile woman with hair composed of snakes. When she fires back at the heroes her hair springs to life to unleash supernatural blasts onto the heroes. The final panel on Page 4 shows the enormity of her power and her size, as several Ghostbusters are running away to distance themselves from her outbursts. The surprise on 5 is great and the explosion that ends the page spectacular. I am in love with the largest panel on 6 which has a moment every Ghostbusters fan will thrill to. The character racing forward on 7 is awesome and the full-paged splash on 8 is a definite WOW! moment. I love Peter’s reaction to that action on the next page. There’s little text on 10 and Schoening clearly communicates to the reader what’s occurring and it’s fantastic! The reveal in the second panel on 11 is also a triumph, increasing the horror of the moment. The fifth panel on the next page is the perfect conclusion to this saga. Page 15 is the page that will discussed for some time to come. It’s composed of nine panels, focusing on one Ghostbuster reacting to something terrible. Between his reactions are scenes that have occurred earlier in this series and they all have come horribly true. I’ve never seen this Ghostbuster so sad and angry before and it hit me like a punch to the stomach. For a series I normally associate with humor, my hat’s off to Schoening for bringing a believable level of drama to the conclusion. The tiny images on 17 and 18 are fantastic because they pull the reader closer into the book, which is what the Ghostbusters are doing to view the image. This is wonderful way to have the reader experience the action with the character. Bravo, Mr. Schoening. Bravo. Overall grade: A+ 

The colors: Luis Antonio Delgado does an exceptional job adding colors to the visuals. The otherworldly dimension is gorgeous in violets. This provides a terrific background for the characters to stand out against. When the heroes zap gray colored Tiamat, it looks outstanding. Her blue blasts of retaliation are also stellar. The energy that she emits throughout the conflict makes her look constantly cosmic. When the villain turns blue on Page 12, it’s a sign that this battle is almost over. I like that all the ghosts’ dialogue balloons are as black as night, with their words in white. This is such a slick way to visual show these speakers are not human. Pages 17 – 19 are set in a location that uses flat reds in the background, which also allows the characters to pop off the page. These colors are outstanding. Overall grade: A+

The letters: The final contributor to this issue is letterer Neil Uyetake. His work also increases the appeal of this book. He creates dialogue, ghostly speech, sounds, yells, whispered dialogue, and an editorial note. The wild scrawl used for ghostly dialogue continues to be one my favorite looks for any character’s speech in all of comics. I like that when Tiamat yells late in the battle it becomes even more frenzied looking, adding to the insanity of the moment. The whispered dialogue occurs toward the end of the book as two characters have words so that another won’t hear them. In the same panel is an editorial note, that’s even more tiny, but is in a font that’s just a titch different from the dialogue and I love it. And the sounds — WOW! This book’s noises will make a reader think they’re in the thick of battle. Uyetake can do no wrong on this book. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The teams come together to fight a common foe, but one does not have a happy ending. An absolutely magnificent conclusion to an all encompassing saga of every Ghostbuster. This is the one to have in your collection and one to take out to make you feel young and just flat out happy. An amazing job by all involved and I’m standing and applauding your efforts. Thank you, one and all, and thank you, IDW Publishing for this epic. Overall grade: A+

To order a print or digital copy go to https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/ghostbusters-crossing-over-8/

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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